49ers draft list: Biggest first-round busts

After Rashaun Woods' 2006 slide off the 49ers roster, out of the NFL and into football oblivion, San Francisco's disappointing 2004 top draft pick slides up near the top of the list of Biggest first-round busts ever to play for the team as SFI continues its annual series of 49ers draft lists leading up to the April 28-29 college lottery at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

1. QB Jim Druckenmiller, 1997: Selected to be the heir apparent to Steve Young, Druckenmiller was a complete bust and was gone after two seasons. The 49ers could have drafted Jake Plummer here, but instead took the strong-armed Druckenmiller, who developed no touch on his passes, ran into legal problems and clearly demonstrated he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed during his brief stay with the team, which ended with Druckenmiller owning a 40.4 completion percentage and 29.2 quarterback rating. This pick played a role in the downfall of the team's dynasty, as the team whiffed on several top picks over the next half-decade and had nobody to immediately replace Young when his career ended in 1999.

2. DT Reggie McGrew, 1998: McGrew was injured and overweight and made no impact in his three seasons with team. The fallout of McGrew's futility was lessened by the strong comeback of Bryant Young from a career-threatening leg injury. Part of the reason for selecting McGrew over others who went onto NFL success was as insurance if Young couldn't make it back. But McGrew still was a wasted first-round pick at a time when the 49ers seriously needed to start addressing the replenishment of their roster.

3. WR Rashaun Woods, 2004: Woods moves up into the top three on this list after his truly atrocious two years in San Francisco came to an unceremonious end last spring, which led to his eventual departure from the NFL. Woods couldn't salvage his career last year after being traded to the San Diego Chargers, who promptly released him early in training camp after he proved to be just as much of a softie in San Diego as he was in San Francisco. Woods' numbers in San Francisco - which ended up being his career NFL numbers - solidify his standing as a bona fide first-round bust: Just 14 games played in two seasons with team, no starts, seven receptions and just one touchdown. And it wasn't as though Woods was competing for playing time against top-flight competition.

4. LB Tom Stolhandske, 1953: Played just one season with the 49ers – but it came two years after he was drafted.

5. CB Tim Anderson, 1971: Was a huge disappointment and played just one season with the team, making virtually no impact in a secondary he was supposed to strengthen.

6. HB Jim Pace, 1958: Averaged just 3.1 yards on 52 carries in his only season with the team.

7. CB Mike Holmes, 1973: Started six games as a rookie, then was out of the NFL by his second season. Like Anderson in 1971, Holmes was brought in to replenish an aging San Francisco secondary while the 49ers still were on top of the NFC West. Holmes failed, and the Niners began their slow but steady slide in the standings.

8. DB Dana Hall, 1992: Hall was supposed to be the second coming of Ronnie Lott, but he never came even remotely close. Hall was handed the starting free safety position on a championship team as a rookie, but he'd lost that position to a converted cornerback (Merton Hanks) by his second season and lost the position again to Hanks in 1994 – this time for good – after Deion Sanders joined the team in October. Hall was gone after three years with the team.

9. WR Terry Beasley, 1972: Beasley was a bust with the 49ers after a big-time college career. Sort of sound a bit like Woods? Well, at least Beasley started six games in his final year in San Francisco and averaged 14.9 yards on 38 receptions during his four seasons with the team. But so much more was expected of him when he was drafted by a then-NFL frontrunner.

10. TE Ken MacAfee, 1978: He was supposed to be the Niners' next great tight end, but produced just 46 catches in his two seasons with team.

11. QB Steve Spurrier, 1967: Spurrier never lived up to his Heisman Trophy hype and didn't become the successful heir to John Brodie that the team was looking for. He showed some flashes at various times during his nine seasons with team, but finished as nothing more than a journeyman starter after leading the 49ers in passing just two of those nine seasons. He still ranks seventh on the team's all-time charts with 5,250 yards passing and 33 touchdown passes, but those numbers were a result of longevity and Spurrier's career ranks as a considerable disappointment.

12. WR J.J. Stokes, 1995: Stokes had a few decent seasons, but considering what the Niners gave up to get him, he was a big disappointment. The 49ers relinquished two first-round draft choices, a third-round pick and a fourth-rounder to acquire Stokes, who never became the big-bodied complement to Jerry Rice the team was looking for. By the time Rice was nearing his end with the 49ers, Terrell Owens had zoomed past Stokes as the team's leading pass target.


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